A Three Goal Draw or a Win
With the first title of the season at stake and with the odds favoring the opponent, Real Madrid travel to the Nou Camp to face Barcelona in the second leg of the Supercopa knowing that only a win or a high scoring draw is capable of changing its fortune. Despite being the better of the two sides, Real were only able to manage a 2-2 draw earlier this week at the Bernabéu thus handing Barça the advantage of having two away goals.
History though favors Real, who have a 4-0 advantage over Barça in the Supercopa head-to-head tally but all that will mean nothing tonight. In all of the previous 4 encounters Real have always won at home and have won away only once and that coming a couple of decades ago. Also, yet again historically speaking, this Barça side is much superior to any of the other sides that they have had. The odds are definitely well stacked against us. That said, it is emerging victorious from a tight spot like this that marks a champion. At the end of the day we will know how far away we are from becoming the champion ten months later.
A win tonight will definitely do wonders to the confidence of our players. If they can be as promising as they were on Sunday I cannot see why they can’t stop the Barça juggernaut. Attack is the best form of defense they say and more so in this case as Barça’s weakest link is their defense and with their best defender and captain, Carles Puyol, unavailable we can certainly make use of this opportunity to sneak in a goal or two which would definitely turn the tide against the home team. And by scoring first, both the morale of the players as well as the balance of the game would favor us. Whether we decide to park the team bus in front of goal or play without a change in the mentality is up to the manager. Personally, I wouldn’t mind doing the former. To me its all about winning.
Karanka, who attended the pre-match press conference, also concurred with my opinion, saying:
We know a title is at stake and that the first leg score forces us to win. We really want to win in Barcelona, especially after Sunday’s match. We’re only thinking about our game, about the our work and about how we played the other day. We can win the Super Cup if we play like we did in the first leg.
Real Madrid traveled to Barcelona yesterday with 22 men tabbed for duty. Granero, Morata and Tomás Mejías were the inclusions from the side that was picked to play the first leg. I don’t see too many changes in the starting line up from the first leg. Mourinho played his strongest side on Sunday and I don’t think that fact has changed since. Coentrão might just get a start ahead of Di Maria probably but I highly doubt it as Di María is more of an established player on the side. The Portuguese would definitely play a part in the game though. And if all goes well, Morata too would.
Barça on the other hand have decided to not reveal their squad until an hour before the game. Pique, Busquets, Xavi and Pedro are all expected to play the game after missing out on the first leg. Cesc Fàbregas, who finally signed for Barça after a zillion years of speculation, has been training with the squad and might even get to make his debut. The Catalans cite that former Arsenal captain is undefeated against Real Madrid (a club against which he has played only two games in the whole of his career) and that he can’t do anything but dazzle against the Whites. I suspect if he’d make any sort of an impact tonight. Even if he does come on it would just be to show him off to the home crowd. €26 million worth Alexis Sánchez might also feature for the same reason.
As always I will be rooting for a Real Madrid victory tonight. 2-1 to Los Blancos!
Until after the game,
Para Siempre Blanco!